Press Release from the Ms. Foundation:
NEW YORK — On April 27, 2016, the Ms. Foundation for Women will celebrate its 28th annual Gloria Awards: A Salute to Women of Vision at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The Gloria Awards, named for Gloria Steinem — one of the organization’s founding mothers — is a yearly celebration to benefit Ms. Foundation grantees around the country and to recognize those who ignite policy and create change. This year, six outstanding leaders — including two Ms. Foundation grantees — will be honored.
Women of Vision honorees include Miriam W. Yeung, executive director of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and Parent Voices statewide organizer Mary Ignatius and Executive Director Clarissa Doutherd, as well as Sy Syms Foundation President Marcy Syms. The foundation will also present its Marie C. Wilson Emerging Leader Award to Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollywood and the Peggy Charren/Free to Be Award to Kyle Zimmer, co-founder and CEO of First Book.
Honorees are chosen based on their grassroots work to raise the collective voices of women and their innovative leadership, courage and actions toward the realization of a shared vision for a just and inclusive democracy for all genders.
Response to Legislative Women\’s Caucus Call for Reinvestments to Child Care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2014
Contact: Mary Ignatius (415-420-2349)
Parent Voices issued the following statement during a news conference hosted by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus held on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
“Parent Voices along with other child care advocates are inspired by the bold and fearless $625 million budget proposal to reinvest in child care, which has been introduced by the Democratic members of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. This is much more than a funding request; the Legislative Women’s Caucus gave notice – to the media, the public, their colleagues in both houses and the governor – that they will no longer allow low-income mothers and children to be ignored.
“After the devastating loss of $1 billion and 110,000 child care slots lost since 2008, this budget proposal comes at a time when the obstacles and struggles mothers have endured while attempting to access quality affordable child care have been invisible. Yesterday, our California women leaders told the world that they see us!
“They see the thousands of mothers and children who are eligible for child care services and have been waiting for investments; they see the mothers who are able to work and go to school to achieve economic security because they have a child care subsidy but also recognize that one incident such as an unreliable car, an illness, or the lack of paid sick days, could upend the stability they have created; they see the predominantly female child care provider and teacher industry and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to keep their business open after years of frozen reimbursement rates; and they see that access to child care and early learning opportunities must start at birth to ensure they are successful in school and life.
“Our next steps will be to convince the Legislature and the governor to follow the Women’s Caucus’ lead and put families first! We are asking our community to sign a petition to show our support of the proposed investment in child care. [See: http://www.rrnetwork.org/womens_caucus_sign_on?utm_campaign=womens_caucus&utm_medium=email&utm_source=rrnetwork]
“Please sign it and share the petition with your networks. We have 48 hours to collect as many signatures as we can. As the California economy begins its recovery, this $625 million investment in child care will ensure that low-income mothers and their children can also participate in the recovery.“
Stand for Children Day in the Capitol 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
Mary Ignatius, Parent Voices
Cell on site: 415-420-2349
Linda Asato, CA Child Care R & R Network
Cell on site: 415-828-1140
Rowena Quinto, CA Child Care R&R Network
Parents urge Legislators to increase child care funding to reflect the economic realities of working families.
SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 7, 2014 – Anticipating strong revenue projections in the Governor’s May budget revision and budget surpluses, over 600 parents, members of the statewide organizations, Parent Voices, will rally and meet with their Legislators to ask for new investments in child care after losing $1 billion (1/3 of its funding) and 110,000 slots (¼ of the children previously served) since 2008.
Parents were disheartened to learn that rebuilding the child care system remains off the radar as indicated by the Governor’s proposed January budget which included no additional funding for child care despite record surpluses. Considering there are remains an estimated 190,000 children on waiting lists for child care assistance, the need to expand child care services is urgent. Parents made the commitment to travel to Sacramento believing that their personal realities and economic circumstances could help influence the funding priorities that Legislators will make in the coming weeks. With the rising costs of housing, health care, basic necessities, and stagnant wages, the cost of child care remains out of reach for CA’s families.
To counter the message that investing in child care is not possible this year, Parent Voices is taking part in the $5 Billion Campaign which identifies revenues in the state budget that could be used to reinvest in the safety net and public education after years of dire budget cuts. These revenues include: slowing down the accelerated debt repayments, stopping prison expansion, passing a tax on oil extraction, and putting less funds away in the rainy day fund. Additionally, news from the Legislative Analyst shows that revenues are over $1 billion above the Governor’s projections. Therefore, Parent Voices’ is calling for the Legislature and the Governor to recognize that child care assistance achieves two important goals: ensuring more parents can work and more children have the early learning opportunities that lead to lifelong academic success. Their ask is to: reinvest $500 million into the child care system to increase access to child care subsidies for eligible families on the waiting list; to lift the freeze on the state’s seven year old outdated eligibility criteria for state supported child care services; and to increase reimbursement rates to child care providers.
One of those parents who would benefit from updated income guidelines is Michelle Garcilazo of Marin County. “In August I face an annual review at the job I have worked very hard at for four years. A cost of living adjustment could put me $20 over the income cut off to qualify for child care and my assistance would be terminated. In a split second, I would go from paying $300 month to $1,000 month which would be impossible for my family. If the guidelines were updated, I could walk into that review with confidence and peace of mind, not fear and uncertainty.”
Independent fiscal policy researchers also agree that child care is a strong investment that CA can no longer ignore. “A strong state budget is one that works for individuals, families, and communities. While the Governor’s proposal has California moving in the right direction, what’s still needed is a grand vision for ensuring that we’re investing in long-term economic growth that’s widely shared. One place to make that investment is in child care to support families ability to find and keep good jobs and contribute to CA’s economic recovery,” stated Chris Hoene, Executive Director of the California Budget Project.
Parents received encouraging news from several state legislators who spoke at the rally. One included Assemblymember Skinner, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee who commended Parent Voices for being engaged advocates for their children. “Thank you being here today, for providing testimony on how California’s budget impacts families’ ability to know their children have care while they go to work,” Assemblymember Skinner said. “Everyone in California benefits from investing in childcare – working families have care for their children, jobs in childcare grow and kids gain access to early education.”
Families and children carried signs and banners on their march to the Capitol. The rally included two Youth MC’s, parent speakers from Marin, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, counties. They were joined by Assembly members Nancy Skinner, Bonnie Lowenthal, and Lorena Gonzalez as well as Senators Mark Leno, Hannah Beth Jackson, and Holly Mitchell. Following the rally parents took their messages inside the Capitol. They delivered flowers with photos of their children to reflect the rally theme, “April Showers Bring May Flowers- Shower our children with early care and love, plant the seed of child care access now!” Child care providers like Tanesiha Johnson of Los Angeles also shared, “Major economists and academics argue that child care has a strong economic return. It’s time we expand child care funding, and expand opportunities to our children. Our economy, our kids, our providers, and our ability to work depend on child care investments!”
Parent Voices is a parent led, parent run grassroots organization fighting to make quality child care accessible and affordable to all families.